This quarter, SAP SuccessFactors announced its Managed Payroll Offering. As part of a three-part Q&A, I interviewed Mary Sidlauskas, or Mary Sid as her friends call her, to help us understand the context where Managed Payroll is the best option, migration paths, and maintenance requirements. For more on who Mary is and why she is one of the best resources to help us understand Managed Payroll, please take a read of our first Q&A blog where we talked about the Why, What, and Who of Managed Payroll.
Don’t make the mistake of believing that payroll migration is merely a set of rigorous set of sequenced “processes”. It isn’t. Migrating payroll requires a disciplined methodology; one that our partners have finely tuned based on their years of experience of migrating single instance or multi-country payroll solutions for organizations around the world.
Every migration must start with a complete due diligence overview of the payroll environment. From this, the best migration approach can be determined for your specific needs. Managed payroll is no exception. Keeping with the “stump the chump” Q&A format, Mary spent some time with me to answer the most pressing questions of what you need to know when it comes to migrating to your on-premise payroll solution to a managed payroll environment.
|Question||Let’s start with due diligence. When it comes to managed payroll migration, what does it mean?|
That’s a great question Patti, as with any implementation project, having a clear and concise view of where you are and where you want get to builds the foundation for a successful project.
I think Aitor Vinos, NGA-HR, articulated it best when he told me that “The due diligence exercise begins with a thorough, deep dive into the system environment. This allows us to understand exactly what the requirements are. We detail technical components, like the system landscape, hosting, disaster recovery and interfaces. We also review functional items including company information, structure, module set-up, collective labor agreements, transaction volumes, and system documentation to assess client readiness.”
|Question||What exactly does the migration to managed payroll entail?|
|Mary Sid||At the highest level, there are two steps:
With that said, in my experience there is a lot value in breaking down the processes even further into four distinct steps:
|Question||Is there a project team? Is there a rule of thumb on the types of resources and how many are needed on the project team?|
Yes, a project team will need to be created. The partner will lead project management. An agile steering committee that represents both the client and the partner will make the project decisions.
Client resources will mostly be required to be involved on a part time basis.
The typical client resources that will be involved at differing stages are:
|Question||Are there data migration tools available as part of the migration process?|
|Mary Sid||Yes, each partner has proven migration tools that they will use during the process. The use of the data migration tools are included in the migration services fixed fee.|
|Question||You won’t be surprised by my next question… What is the typical project timeline?|
|Mary Sid||You are right. This is probably the most common question in any project like this. And the answer is usually the same. The project timeframe will depend on the complexity of the client’s environment and how fast certain changes can be implemented. A typical migration project should take between 6-10 weeks. Some of the complexities that would extend the timeframe, are multiple 3rd party provider interfaces to migrate, the ERP HCM instance not being in a standalone environment, and/or having multiple instances, i.e. unique instances in multiple countries.|
|Question||Can the SAP Managed Payroll partner literally take an existing deployment and move it without rebuilding configuration and customizations?|
|Mary Sid||Yes, the key benefit of Managed Payroll is that clients don’t need to rebuild their configuration or customizations.|
|Question||Let’s talk money. How much will the partner charge to conduct the initial transition of configuration, programming and data?|
|Mary Sid||The services contract for Managed Payroll is a fixed fee, and will naturally be highly client specific, depending on the complexity of the current HCM landscape, number and complexity of interfaces and other client specific items.|
|Question||Does the partner assume responsibility for changes to interfaces from payroll to banks and benefit providers?|
|Mary Sid||Interfaces are as varied as SAP payroll clients. The migration project will include interface migration, but naturally relevant resources from the client will be required to help coordinate, and sometimes implement, those changes.|
|Question||Does a client’s self-service system need to be updated to point to a different server?|
|Mary Sid||Typically all interfaces need to be updated to point to the new HCM system.|
|Question||What about the client’s integration back to their finance system – who will create and manage that integration?|
|Mary Sid||SAP standard ALE interfaces are used to integrate the HCM and finance systems and this will be part of the migration project. Keep in mind that the client’s SAP basis team might have to make some of the required ALE changes on the finance system.|
|Question||How much testing would be done internally by a clients’s own resources and externally by the partner?|
|Mary Sid||Testing will be a joint effort between the client and the partner. Since there are no configuration changes, very little unit testing should be needed. The testing will focus on regression, interface and end-to-end business process testing. While the regression testing is handled by the partner, the customer must still sign off on the user acceptance testing.|
|Question||What is done to insure that there are no changes to a customer’s payroll processes?|
|Mary Sid||The testing phase will include parallel runs and other standard payroll tests. Since this is the same system that have been running the client’s payroll for many years and there are no configuration changes, there should not be a big risk of incorrect payroll calculation errors. The biggest risk is that some interfaces may fail due to the migration. This is why interface and connectivity testing will be the portion that receives the most attention during the testing phase.|
|Question||Almost done…What are the differences between the migration services that SAP SuccessFactors partners offer?|
That’s a very important question, Patti. EPI-USE and NGA-HR have been partners with SAP SuccessFactors for decades and have probably completed thousands of implementations between the two of them. They both have perfected their own comprehensive methodology that includes processes, forms, tools and the documentation necessary to successfully complete any client’s migration. I have asked both partners to provide detailed information on their methodology, tools and migration schedule. Customers can find that information at the following links:
|Question||Wow. We have covered a lot. Are there any final thoughts we didn’t cover that are important for clients to consider?|
|Mary Sid||There are. As with any implementation, or migration, the journey for each customer will be a little different. As I stated in the previous interview, it’s extremely important that customers work closely with their SAP SuccessFactors account team to first identify the best partner for their specific needs. Throughout the decision making process the SAP SuccessFactors account team will be responsible to ensure that each customer gets all of their migration questions answered timely and accurately, and they will also ensure that clients receive a detailed migration plan, including all the costs.|
Thanks for spending some time with us. Mary and I will continue to provide you with valuable content through a mixed media approach including blogs, video interviews, and radio shows on all things payroll so that you can make the best decisions for your payroll implementation.
Stop back here on December 5th for our final Q&A blog about managed payroll focused on maintenance.